Skip to main content

'We are the world's smallest': 13-seat Stratford, Ont. cinema recognized for world record


A tiny cinema in Stratford, Ont. has been recognized by Guinness World Records.

The Little Prince Cinema on Wellington Street is the smallest purpose-built cinema in the world.

“There was a point when we were worried we would even make it this far, be open even throughout COVID, let alone receive this recognition. So it’s huge. It feels like a reward just for surviving,” said owner Leigh Cooney.

Cooney said he and his business partner applied to Guinness in 2020, but only found out they were given the official title this year.

The Little Prince is about 16 square metres and has 13 seats.

The 13 seats at The Little Prince Cinema (Heather Senoran / CTV Kitchener)

“I can confirm that Cabiria Cine-Café [in Brazil] was the previous record-holder with 24 square metres,” said Amanda Marcus with Guinness World Records North America, Inc.

It’s not just a small theatre, it’s a customized experience.

“If it’s a movie from the 70s, we try to do previews from the 70s and commercials from the 70s,” Cooney said. “We have a catalogue of somewhere in the range of 30,000 movies going as far back as early 20th century, like silent films right up until the last three to six months ago.”

The lounge/lobby area is decorated with movie memorabilia and other throwbacks like a retro arcade machine Cooney helped build.

The arcade in the lobby at The Little Prince Cinema (Heather Senoran / CTV Kitchener)

Cooney said he has always been fascinated with the “golden era” of movies and unique indie theatres. The name of his business pays homage to Princess Cinemas in Waterloo. He visited that theatre a lot growing up and still does.

The theatre is available for private bookings only, partly to promote a safer space.

The small screen at The Little Prince Cinema (Heather Senoran / CTV Kitchener)

“Come in with a group of friends and then you can talk through the movie. Laugh as much as you want,” said Trevor Worsell, who owns a business nearby.

Worsell said he was impressed with his last visit and hopes the Guinness recognition means more business on his street.

Private bookings range from $125 to $265. The more expensive rate would be for a party, often for kids, which would include soft drinks and popcorn.

“To be able to official say we are the world’s smallest, it’s a novel thing, especially in a cultural town like Stratford,” said Cooney. Top Stories

Stay Connected